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See more synonyms for pompous on Thesaurus.com
  1. characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance: a pompous minor official.
  2. ostentatiously lofty or high-flown: a pompous speech.
  3. Archaic. characterized by pomp, or a display of stately splendor or magnificence: an impressive and pompous funeral.
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Origin of pompous

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English word from Late Latin word pompōsus. See pomp, -ous
Related formspomp·ous·ly, adverbun·pomp·ous, adjectiveun·pomp·ous·ly, adverbun·pomp·ous·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pompously

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Mr. Beckendorff is in the library, sir," said the old lady, pompously.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • Boche, moreover, pompously agreed to the arrangement in the landlord's name.


    Emile Zola

  • "Call your philosophy to your aid, and be anxious for nothing," said O'Shea, pompously.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

  • "Something shall be done for you, sir," said the Judge, pompously.

  • He was too pompously and innocently aware of his own existence to observe that of others.

British Dictionary definitions for pompously


  1. exaggeratedly or ostentatiously dignified or self-important
  2. ostentatiously lofty in stylea pompous speech
  3. rare characterized by ceremonial pomp or splendour
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Derived Formspompously, adverbpompousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pompously



late 14c., "characterized by exaggerated self-importance," from Old French pompos (14c., Modern French pompeux) and directly from Late Latin pomposus "stately, pompous," from Latin pompa "pomp" (see pomp). More literal (but less common) meaning "characterized by pomp" is attested from early 15c. Related: Pompously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper